Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Plated: A Food Review

I got caught by one of the facebook ads that look like a post. However, I’m rather enjoying it so far.

Plated is yet another shipped box of goodies. This time, it’s ingredients and recipes.

For my first box, I ordered 2 plates each of 2 meals. We had Pollock with marinated cucumbers and dill yogurt sauce the night the box arrived. The recipe card is a full sheet that has easy to follow instructions and pictures for each step.

You supply the dishes and a couple basic ingredients like olive oil, salt, and pepper. Read through your recipe before doing it, then just follow the steps, and voila! Dinner.

The Pollock was very delicious. It had Israeli couscous, which I had never had before but enjoyed. We loved the yogurt dill sauce, and Pollock is often used for fish and chips, so it brought back fond memories for me, without the breading and grease.
Pollock, marinated cucumbers, yogurt dill sauce and Israeli couscous
We just had the other dish, Green Goddess roast chicken, tonight. I love it. J, not so much. Green Goddess sauce is a combo of basil, chives, lime, buttermilk, and anchovy. It’s the anchovy that we think threw J off. He said it tasted fishy and he really did not like the sauce. I might try it again someday without the anchovy and see if he likes it then.

Our sides tonight were purple potatoes and roasted scallions (green onions). I was surprised at how much I liked roasted scallion. It didn’t have much onion flavor at all, and was actually quite sweet. Just spray with olive oil and sprinkle on a little salt, roast, and enjoy.

Green Goddess roast chicken with roasted scallions and purple potatoes
All in all, I think I will use Plated again. One of the biggest selling points can be summed up in their Manifesto, so I’m copying and pasting.

We believe food should be really fresh and really real. For us, living well means eating healthy, high quality foods that are fresh and full of flavor. We keep our ingredients whole to ensure everything arrives in nomnom-worthy condition.
We like knowing exactly what is going into our meals by seeing, holding, chopping and cooking the raw ingredients. We avoid processed foods because we prefer our mashed potatoes without a heaping tablespoon of carcinogens.
We use local and seasonal produce whenever possible and source our meats from local, family-owned purveyors. We partner with responsible companies like Sea to Table to make sure that our fish is always fresh, and wild-caught when possible.

Why did I fall for this? I am trying to move away from processed foods and use more whole produce in my cooking. This month I barely had time to get to the store, let alone cook much. I saw this as a chance to get at least 2 dinners delivered to my door and all I had to do was cook it. Healthy dinners, with fresh ingredients. 
The box was delivered overnight and fully insulated with 4 ice packs (which you can keep and reuse). The food is portioned and labeled so you know what's what. It really makes it rather simple, and I think someone who struggles to cook could learn a lot from this. I didn't use it, but they say they have some how-to videos on the website as well. 
I won’t be using Plated all the time, but once a month might be a nice treat and help us build a clean recipe collection using all fresh ingredients. If you want to check it out, please use my referral link!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Workin On My Fitness

I tracked 5 days of food for Sasha and she came back the next day with a nutrition and fitness plan. I have a list of good foods and a list of suggestions for swaps and healthy cheats. She also included some herbs that can help migraine, so I picked those up and will be giving them a try. One helps calm you when you're anxious, the other works similar to aspirin (anti-inflammatory). 

Now, Thursday and Friday didn't go so hot. I ate too much. Ugh. 

Saturday was the Dehydrator bike ride in Duncan, OK. Jason did the full 80 miles. I, however, hadn't been on my bike in 2 weeks, and not much before that either, so I only did 25. I tried to push my speed a little and managed a 16mph average pace. That's good for me. I felt like I could have gone farther, but not 50 miles, which was my next step up on approved routes. 

But I finished strong and felt good. J finished a little over 4 hours. I tracked all my nutrition that day and noticed that I was eating more than I was putting out. I can see a few easy adjustments I can make that will keep me fueled on my ride, but still give me that calorie deficit needed for weight loss. I also have to remember to not always listen to that little voice named Jason that wants to tell me how to fuel a ride. What works for him won't always work for me. 

Sunday was our rest day, but I still did pretty good and watched what I ate. Today (Monday) I got up and hit the gym. It was rainy, so it was a full gym, but I had plenty of room for a lower body day according to the plan from Sasha. I added one exercise to it and it rounded out to 6 total, so I split them in half. I did the first 3 in a row for 3 sets, then the next 3 for 3 sets. It worked. My legs feel worked, even now after grocery shopping. 

I think I will be going to the gym on strength days, even if it's stuff I can do at home. I find myself more motivated at the gym. I think I push myself harder there. She wants me to do 15-20 minutes of cardio first, and I can set the treadmill at a higher speed and push myself on there, or I did the bike today and tried to keep the MPH setting at 15-16. (Now if only they would let me use the nicer spin bikes.) Tomorrow I'm going to run. I might do the 5k track twice, or I might try a different route and just watch my time. Have to go for an hour. And I'm still walking the dog at least once a day.

I'm trying to really push myself to eat lots of fruit and veggies. I tried to buy fruits that I can eat as snacks during the day. I need to find sugar snap peas, but they didn't have any at the commissary today. I love those things. I like smoothies, but they work like a laxative. Not always feasible. 

I'm only working at the RecPlex now, so I have mornings to work-out. It's helping. I tend to do opening shifts as well, which I like; it means I'm home to have dinner with J and walk the dog in the evening. 

Still no news on where we are headed next. It makes me anxious, but there's not much I can do about it. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Busy Busy

I have been busy.

I I told you that I got a job here in OK. Did I mention I got 2 jobs?

At the very tail end of June, I started working at JoAnn’s and at the Fort Sill RecPlex. The RecPlex is a place for Soldiers to hang out. It’s only open in the afternoon and evening, so I’ve been working mornings at JoAnn’s and afternoon/evenings at the RecPlex. This lead to 40+ hour weeks for the past couple weeks.

I decided I will not be staying on at JoAnn’s. I’ll stop working after this week, along with the other temporary employees.

I thought this would set me back on my fitness and weight loss, but I was wrong. I am on my feet all the time at JoAnn’s, and even do some heavy lifting. I get in a run or ride when I can, even made it to the pool for some laps. And I’ve been sticking to the calorie goal that the Wellness Center gave me. I’m down 5 pounds. Go me!

Now to keep this up. In August, I’ll have mornings free to workout. I was researching and looking for programs to follow, because I like having guidance in my strength training, when I remembered that I have a couple friends going to school for that kind of thing. Ok, one going to school and one just finished school. Turns out the one who just finished is looking for some people to personally train so she can build up a client base and reputation.

So I have a personal trainer now! My friend Sasha is going to help me with both fitness and nutrition. She understands my fears about losing it all during the move, since she is also an Army wife and just moved. She has a blog over at mountaingirlsoul.com.

The other day, we talked on the phone about where I am and what I want. We talked about how often I work out, what I like to do, and what kind of things I have access to. We talked about food, what I do and don’t like, and what I struggle with. I’m going to keep a food journal for 5 days (track on myfitnesspal) and send that to her so she can see my habits. From there, she’ll work with me on a nutrition plan and we’ll set up a fitness schedule and exercise recommendations for me to start on. The goal is to get me into a routine that I can keep up during the transition to our next location.

I’m rather excited. I get a personal trainer, that I like, for free. I’ll weigh myself once a week. I also need to get back into the Wellness Center for a body comp test. It’s been a month and a half. That’s ok. Life was rather busy this month.

Here are some “before” pics, taken Saturday morning. Let’s see if I can remember to take new pics after a month or two and compare.

I don't know what I was looking at